Dr David Snead

Dr David Snead

David is a full time NHS consultant pathologist and has been lead pulmonary and skin pathologist at the University Hospital Coventry since 1997. He has led the project to adopt digital pathology at UHCW for the last 5 years.

He now heads the UHCW NHS Trust Digital Pathology Centre of Excellence (CoE), an academic venture exploring the use of this technology in routine histopathology. The CoE collaborates closely with Professor Nasir Rajpoot and colleagues at the Computer Science School University of Warwick and is currently evaluating algorithms aimed at improving pathologist’s ability to accurately grade cancers and the automation of mundane time consuming quantitative tasks.

His other research interests are in improving early lung cancer diagnosis, and the pathology of neuroendocrine lung tumours.

After taking over as clinical director in 2009 he has established the Yvonne Carter Chair of Pathology at the University of Warwick and the centralisation of cellular pathology for Coventry and Warwickshire Pathology Services.

Title: The use of digital pathology in the primary diagnosis of histopathology samples.

Recent developments in digital pathology enable the rapid scanning of microscope slides at high resolution, making the digitisation of histopathology slides for routine diagnosis purposes feasible. An important initial step in the wider adoption of this technology is the establishment of validation data assessing how effective pathologists are using digital workstations in comparison to conventional light microscopes and glass slides when examining cases for primary diagnosis.

I will report on the first study sufficiently powered to demonstrate a statistically valid equivalent (i.e. non-inferior) performance of digital pathology (DP) against standard glass slide (GS) microscopy. This study examined a total of 3,017 cases were included, generating 10,138 slides, which when scanned resulted in a digital archive of 2.45 terabytes.

As well as demonstrating non-inferiority of digital in comparison to glass slides the study was useful in establishing rules for slide scanning and identifying areas where digital pathology has limitations and needs to be used with caution.

Finally the presentation will cover the impact adopting digital pathology will have on diagnostic laboratories, the economics of these changes and where these changes are most likely to benefit patients.

Major developments in pathology raise many questions. Be part of the discussion on the way forward.

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